Chotushkone – A Review

Srijit Mukherjee has an uncanny knack of making the unconventional a style statement. In his films, things, which might appear random at first, gets to its core, at the last act. He has a grand way of pulling it, a la Harry Houdini ! It’s the last shot where he gets greedy, every time !! A director who knows his craft very well, stages the third act, the prestige gorgeously. It’s not because he knows what the audience wants. It’s because he makes them part of the act. That’s where the beauty of his direction pitches in and starts to reign over people. Srijit Mukherjee pulls a casting coup and gets stalwarts of the craft to this amalgamation. Barun Chanda, Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen, Chiranjeet, Koushik Ganguly and Parambrata bring such diversity to the plate, that the viewer wishes to see more of this palette, as the curtain falls.

It starts with a basic premise of 4 directors getting together on a journey, each conjuring a short movie on the common theme of death. Each director has his/her own way of story telling and in the course of the movie, the viewer learns that they have something in common. Following the law of suspense and thriller genre, Srijit gives the viewer a bone to chew on and as the story progresses, he keeps on adding meat to it. Revealing more after this will be a crime so I shall stop here.

Performance wise, Chiranjeet and Parambrata are revelations. Once a darling of masses (read Gram Gonja), Chiranjeet plays himself and gels into the character effortlessly. His portrayal of a has-been actor as well as a failure in life, for his son and himself is truly commendable. Parambrata gets to play the role of his life and he does it with panache. Gautam Ghose plays the perfect folly to Chiranjeet and Aparna Sen does justice to her character. But the scene stealer is Kaushik Ganguly. In a minuscule role, (if I am permitted to say so !), he’s simply breathtaking, a Taroka !! More power to this wonderful actor. Barun Chanda plays an interesting role in this act of four. The assorted characters bring more color to the plate, particularly Payel Sarkar and Koneeka.

Some years ago, I saw a play called CheckMate and totally loved it. An ailing and old Byomkesh Bakshi tries to resolve a murder mystery, while battling his inner demons. As a viewer, Chotushkone s’ fusion of different colors, constantly reminded me of CheckMate. I recently came to know that CheckMate was Srijit Mukherjee’s creation. Here again, technically, Srijit Mukherjee plays his cards very well. Scenes are shot brilliantly. The play of lights, in each of the short story is simply outstanding. B/W, Red, Blue and finally Sepia tells the viewer the emotion of the story teller, in this case the individual directors. Well written dialogues add fun to the script. Music is exceptional, particularly Boba Tunnel and Bawshanto aeshe geche. Cinematography and edits are top notch.

As I finish writing these few lines, I realise that I ended up writing a fan boy review rather than an criticising piece of film bashing. Well, that’s the power of movie making. As you get into the finer points of the movie, you start to get into the character’s layers, their skins and the director’s head. And then everything becomes a blur.

After all,

Ma hariye gele Ma pawa jaye re, Cinema hariye gele, aar pawa jayena re Pagla !!!!

The Cinemawala Rating: 4/5

4 thoughts on “Chotushkone – A Review

  1. Nice review. I too liked it a lot.Can you just explain a bit what happened to the cigarette-obsessed man in the 2nd story ( by Chiranjeet ) ? I did not understand it entirely.

  2. @Sambit Roy – Thanks !! When the character started running after stealing the last cigarette, he met with an accident. As the police officer had taken his wallet, so his body was marked unclaimed. When he was being taken for cremation, you can actually hear the people carrying him saying, “je ei dokan ta bhalo, shara raat khola thake” and they buy bidi from there. As they decide to resume the cremation process, one of them flicks the bidi on the ground. At the same time, they lift his body up. It's a paradox. From here, the director leaves it to the audiences imagination.

  3. Okay. I get the fact that it is paradoxical because Bedashruti Dey gave his life for a single cigarette; still other people were wasting cigarettes. But unlike the other two stories, I failed to realize the impact of the climax. May be my fault or difference in opinion. I personally liked Aparna Sen's story the most.Thanks for the reply 🙂

  4. @Sambit Roy – Even I thought that this story was weaker compared to the other two. However, in the context of death, the director might have made this story a little less impactful than others, on purpose. If you remember the scene, where Gautam Ghose tells Chiranjeet, “arektu jomte parto golpo ta, jodiba death ta khub surreal”. Aparna Sen's story was indeed the best of the three.

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